Ju Ming once proposed the notion of “art as practice”. Over the course of his career as a sculptor spanning several decades, Ju Ming’s practice did not simply focus on the advancement of aesthetics and techniques. It was also a cultivation of life and philosophical insights. Through each movement of hewing and cleaving, the artist immersed himself in a spiritually buoyant state at which he became detached from the external world. His tireless cultivation helped him gain true insights into the metaphysical power and spirit of Tai Chi, consequently creating the Taichi Series (Lot 1023) which breaks free from the form and soar high in its spirit. It marks an elevation of his personal practice and his complete insights into the spirit of Tai Chi.
Taichi Series depicts two figures facing each other, poised to move with full concentration. On the right, the martial artist stands on his left leg as he swiftly kicks his right leg, body tilting to one side, his head, waist and leg forming one straight line, his both arms extended with the momentum of the movement, conveying a nimble presence and a powerful sense of speed. The martial artist on the left “listens” to the opponent’s momentum, using Tai Chi “cloud hands” to deflect the force with the opponent’s own power, imitating the fluidity of clouds and air, while the lower half of the body is on the defensive. Although appearing to be weak, there is weight in his presence, poised with great strength to strike back, aptly displaying the essence of Tai Chi to overcome the forceful with gentleness. At first glance, the two forces may appear to be against each other, but upon closer examination, the viewer can see harmony and symbiosis. Within the rhythmic movement – the advances and the defences – the yin and the yang give rise to each other, generating an ever-evolving, continuous energy between the two. Through his strong, decisive sculpting, the transient moment of each action and the flow of energy between each interaction are captured precisely, leaving marks of his sculpting tools as well as geometric blocks on the figures, instilling a great sense of power in his work, expressing a boundless life energy and dramatic tension.
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